Thursday, October 25, 2012

Boo! Four supremely esoteric Halloween costume ideas for your consideration.

Halloween 2012 is less than a week away and the weekend is even closer. For anyone planning on participating in some All Hallows Eve festivities it is definitely crunch time for getting those costumes in order. I would like to clarify that this point that when I am referring to getting costumes in order I mean using resourcefulness and your innate sense of imagination to assemble a getup that is an original expression of yourself. I am also mainly focusing on costumes that are references to other things, mostly pop culture, cause well that's sort of my bag; but I'm for any costume that expresses creativity. Also I am not the biggest fan of the walking pun costume but I admire a good one when I see it; truth be told I actually may be leaning towards a pun costume this year.

I absolutely do not mean going out and buying some overpriced, Chinese exported, ill fitting, prefabricated sack of colorful flammable rags from some crowded party supply store. Frankly if you're the sort of person who purchases their entire sense of self expression comes from a mass produced plastic bag, I can't imagine I actually know you as a person since I would likely avoid associating with people who lack such creativity and generally souls.

For all those procrastinators, the indecisive, and the not yet inspired looking to put together their holiday attire I figured I'd throw out a few extra esoteric costume ideas I had bouncing around in my head, free of charge to anyone interested, like a fun sized Mounds bar or a razor blade filled apple. 

Now as someone whose Halloween costume track record has steered mostly towards the obscure over the years I just wanted to note some of the benefits of taking the road less traveled when picking costume ideas. The main overarching pro for going esoteric is that it makes you an original. It's hard to a be an original in this post modern day and age and especially on Halloween; and anyone who can really pull of a unique look should take great pride in it. It's fun being PSY but the joy is going to be a tad diminished when there's like 5 of you on the train at the same time. Another benefit of going esoteric is that if you do end up being an original, you become by default the best example of your costume. Could my 1964 Barry Goldwater costume two years ago have been a bit more historically accurate? Sure. Could my hair have been colored better? Of course. Was I probably the best Barry Goldwater in all of New York City that night? Most definitely. If you're going to be Bane you have to compete with that really serious jacked guy who actually shaved his head. The final benefit to going esoteric is that while you will most likely have to explain yourself to everyone you meet, the supreme joy you feel when someone actually gets your costume on their own is immeasurable. You might as well become best friends with them or if the situation fits propose to them right there because you may have just found your soul mate. I remember dressing up as the one eyed, asian, Russian roulette moderator at the end of the "Deer Hunter" years ago and literally one of the last persons I met that entire long night immediately got my character. I admit our marriage only lasted a few years, but the split was amicable and we still remained friends.  

Manny Fraker from Death Wish 3

Playing Gavin O'Herlihy's comically evil gang leader from the ultra violent, Reagan era snuff film, "Death Wish 3" will take some degree of dedication since you will have to shave (or somehow simulate) that ridiculous reverse mohawk. However, if you are bold enough to pull it off, rest assured, there will be no confusion over who you are. I am pretty sure that hairstyle has never been reproduced in the history of cinema. Once you get the hair and silly gang paint you're essentially done, the rest is pretty easy, just some generic 80's street gang attire, which basically means dressing like a standard hipster with maybe a leather jacket. You can even do a group costume with friends as other gang members, just as long as they have the matching "gang sign". I call the Giggler

Tan Shoes With Pink Shoelaces

This costume idea is one that perhaps some of the older Baby Boomers might appreciate. The entire costume is laid out in irresistibly catchy form by 13 year old Dodie Stevens on her famous #3 hit from 1959, "Pink Shoelaces". In the song she sings about her wildly eccentric boyfriend Dooley who has quite an idiosyncratic fashion sense. As the chorus lays out, he wears "tan shoes with pink shoelaces, a polka dot vest and man oh man...and a big Panama with a purple hat band"; it couldn't be any simpler. A real life rendition can be seen in this awkwardly charming homemade music video that goes to show that not all modern teens are sexting each other and doing bath salts (some are reenacting forgotten pop songs from the 50s). On a side note, I just realized right now creepy it was that Dooley, who was apparently old enough to enlist in the army, was dating a 13 year old.

Take That Ridiculous Thing Off Guy From UHF

To characterize the humor in the Weird Al Yankovic cult film "UHF" as lacking subtly is about as gross an understatement as saying the Sahara is lacking moisture. Nearly every joke and definitely all the acting by Weird Al is about as nuanced as a rocket launcher to the face. However, my all time favorite joke in the whole film, and the only one that legitimately caught me by surprise was the above scene where evil network president RJ Fletcher tells his one lackey, who shows up with a garish new hat, to "take that ridiculous thing off" only to have him unexpectantly take his mustache off. I also really appreciated the length of the set up for that joke, for the first half of the movie the guy always appeared with a mustache. In any case, the costume is not difficult at all: get yourself a suit, steal a hat from José Eber, slap on a fake mustache, and hope to God that you run into someone who is enough of a "UHF" fan to tell you take that ridiculous thing off. If will end up becoming the crowing moment of both your lives.

The Dylan Farnum Look

Any opportunistic twenty something could lazily piggyback on cheap 90s nostalgia by putting on some shorts and a green vest and going as everyone's favorite Nicktoon every man Doug Funnie. However, for the those who want to obnoxiously take it to the next level of obscurity, they should dress exactly like Doug but explain to anyone that points out their costume that they are in actuality just a random resident of Bluffington wearing the Dylan Farnum look. For those not familiar this, it is a reference to the Doug episode "Doug En Vogue" (which is apparently available in its entirety on the Nick website) where the star of a popular teen drama, Dylan Farnum, appears in an episode wearing Doug's exact outfit which in turn leads to everyone at school dressing like him and Doug trying in vain to explain to everyone that he has always worn this outfit and isn't copying Dylan Farnum. As a bonus alternative, you could also dress up in the crazy outfit Doug comes up with halfway through the episode when he tries to create a new ensemble that no one could possibly accuse him of copying only to have Judy show him that it's actually a real look called "The Schizo" (good luck trying to get that medallion that just says "RAP").

I realize now as I finish up that all the examples above are based on male characters. I personally encourage all woman readers to try their own female variations on the ideas above. I'm all for a little gender bending. Additionally, if you want to "slut up" the costumes a bit, as it is apparently the trend nowadays with female costumes, I suggest you just go down two sizes, replace the pants with hot pants, and unbutton most of the top buttons.

Happy Halloween everybody!

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